The AIF Project

William Summerville DAVIDSON

Regimental number5001
Place of birthLanarkshire, Scotland
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationFarm labourer
AddressTooradin Railway Station, Victoria
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation21
Height5' 6"
Weight120 lbs
Next of kinSister, Mrs Marion Smith, Lily Bank, Cadzow Street, Lark Hall, Lanarkshire,Scotland
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date14 February 1916
Place of enlistmentMelbourne, Victoria
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name22nd Battalion, 13th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/39/4
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A33 Ayrshire on 3 July 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll22nd Battalion
FateKilled in Action 3 May 1917
Age at death from cemetery records23
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsAustralian National Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux, France

Villers-Bretonneux is a village about 15 km east of Amiens. The Memorial stands on the high ground ('Hill 104') behind the Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery, Fouilloy, which is about 2 km north of Villers-Bretonneux on the east side of the road to Fouilloy.

The Australian National Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux is approached through the Military Cemetery, at the end of which is an open grass lawn which leads into a three-sided court. The two pavilions on the left and right are linked by the north and south walls to the back (east) wall, from which rises the focal point of the Memorial, a 105 foot tall tower, of fine ashlar. A staircase leads to an observation platform, 64 feet above the ground, from which further staircases lead to an observation room. This room contains a circular stone tablet with bronze pointers indicating the Somme villages whose names have become synonymous with battles of the Great War; other battle fields in France and Belgium in which Australians fought; and far beyond, Gallipoli and Canberra.

On the three walls, which are faced with Portland stone, are the names of 10,885 Australians who were killed in France and who have no known grave. The 'blocking course' above them bears the names of the Australian Battle Honours.

After the war an appeal in Australia raised £22,700, of which £12,500 came from Victorian school children, with the request that the majority of the funds be used to build a new school in Villers-Bretonneux. The boys' school opened in May 1927, and contains an inscription stating that the school was the gift of Victorian schoolchildren, twelve hundred of whose fathers are buried in the Villers-Bretonneux cemetery, with the names of many more recorded on the Memorial. Villers-Bretonneux is now twinned with Robinvale, Victoria, which has in its main square a memorial to the links between the two towns.

Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: James and Mary Scott Sommerville DAVIDSON. Born at Lilybank, Larkhill, Scotland
Other details

War service: Western Front

Embarked Melbourne, 3 July 1916; disembarked Plymouth, 2 September 1916.

Admitted to Fargo Military Hospital, 15 September 1916 (scabies).

Proceeded overseas to France, 12 November 1916; marched into 2nd Australian Divisional Base Depot, 13 November 1916.

Proceeded to unit, 22 November 1916; taken on strength of 22nd Bn, in the field, 24 November 1916.

Admitted to No 7 Australian Field Ambulance, 15 December 1916 (scabies); to No 25 General Hospital, 18 December 1916 (urtiaria); to No 26 General Hospital, Etaples, 18 December 1916; discharged, 4 January 1917; marched into 2nd Australian Divisional Base Depot, Etaples, 8 January 1917.

Proceeded to unit, 4 February 1917; rejoined unit, 5 February 1917.

Admitted to No 6 Australian Field Ambulance, 10 March 1917 (scabies); discharged, 20 March 1917; rejoined unit, 24 March 1917.

Posted as missing in action, 3 May 1917.

Court of Enquiry, held in the field, 26 November 1917, pronounces fate as 'Killed in Action, 3 May 1917'.

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, DAVIDSON William Summerville

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